Tuesday 19 June 2012


Nonnonba Story and Art by Shigeru Mizuki
Shige spends his days playing soldier and with his brothers. Though his world may be constantly changing, however, there is always one constant: the titular Nonnonba and her tales of the yokai. Experience a world of magic and wonder!
Shigeru Mizuki’s tale is, if nothing else, fascinating seamlessly blurring the line between fantasy  and reality. Mizuki details his childhood in this sophisticated comic. While the protagonist is a child this is something recommended for a more mature audience due both tone and subject matter.
The story’s primary focus is on the drama within Mizuki’s family as well as the characters he meets.  Mizuki’s artwork is distinct and memorable as are the characters. Accompanying the story is an article and notes providing information on Japanese culture to those unfamiliar as well as an article. All-in-all it is clear that much effort was put into the release of Nonnonba and it is quite clear why. This is easily a title worth recommending
Nonnonba is available in print in North America from Drawn & Quarterly.

Wednesday 13 June 2012

Animal Man issue 1

Animal Man issue 1 Story by Jeff Lemire Colored by Lovern Kindzierski
As time has progressed, Buddy Baker has stepped away from a life fighting crime to be at home with his family and live a relatively normal life. This changes one day when he returns briefly to his life as a crime fighter but and finds his powers have gone awry. When he awakens from a nightmare that night he finds something strange has occurred in the real world.
Published by DC Comics in North America as part of The New 52, Animal Man looks and feels unique. Jeff Lemire’s writing breathes new life into a fascinating super hero. The story feels as if it can stand on its own without prior knowledge of the DC Universe going to great lengths to welcome new readers.
The psychological aspect of the story is by far the most fascinating part by far. If one complaint were to be made it would be the supporting characters seem a tad predictable. Nonetheless this is an easily recommendable read and a great start to an interesting series.
Animal Man is available digitally on Comixology and in print from DC Comics.

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Kids on the Slope Episodes 1-9

Kids on the Slope Episodes 1-9 directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, Produced by Mappa and Tezuka Productions
Set during the American occupation  of Japan in the 1960s. As he was constantly moving Kaoru was always an outsider at the schools he attended, this all changes one day when he meets resident bad boy Sentaro. The two find a common interest in the form of jazz and thus a tale of friendship, romance, and music unfolds.
Running as part of Fuji TV’s Noitamina animation block in Japan, Kids on the Slope is an animated series which is truly a gem. It’s clear that so much love and effort was put into this series. Every beat, every motion contains purpose. This series is top notch every moment.
The art is gorgeous, the characters and plot are well written; it all flows together so seamlessly. The music, created by Yoko Kanno (who had previously worked on the Cowboy Bebop animated series with director Shinichiro Watanabe) is nothing short of breathtaking. Put this all together and you have an animated treasure.
Kids on the Slope is streaming on Crunchyroll and The Anime Network with a home video release from Sentai Filmworks to follow in the future.

Tuesday 5 June 2012


Moehime Story and Art by Koito Akiyama
Tomoe, an identifying fujoshi (female comic geek in Japan) and daughter of a noble, is petrified of other people. One day while settling into her new home she encounters a group of yokai. Thus a tale begins of their wacky escapades.
Moehime is a light-hearted series and it is well aware of it. The characters are lovable and memorable and the plotline is fun. Most importantly however this series explores a subject matter which rarely appears in the west: fujoshi culture and it is all the more memorable for it.
While several comics arrive in the west from Japan exploring otaku (male comic geek in Japan) culture few series explore it’s aforementioned counterpart fujoshi culture with as much depth as this series does. Add-in the fact the historical setting of this title and you have a series well worth recommending!
Moehime is available on JManga

Monday 4 June 2012

Barrage chapter 1

Barrage chapter 1 review Story and Art by Kouhei Horikoshi
Astro lived a relatively average life in the slums raising orphans while working for next to nothing. One day he loses his job and soon finds himself meeting Prince Barrage. From that point his life will change forever.
Serialized in the Japanese comic anthology Weekly Shonen Jump in Japan and it’s counterpart Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha in North America. Barrage sports excellent art reminiscent of Kazue Kato’s Blue Exorcist comic series. Thus far it appears to be a fun adventure. The protagonist appears to be your average shonen (boys’) comic protagonist (the delinquent with a heart of gold trope).
As of now I believe Barrage is off to an excellent start. I anticipate future chapters and am curious to see how the story progresses.
Barrage is available only through Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha